Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera, 42, of the Philippines has successfully defended his belt twice. He knocked out Hideki “Shrek” Sekine, 47, of Japan in 2016 and Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli, 37, of Italy in 2018.
Amir Aliakbari, 32, of Tehran, Iran recently joined ONE Championship’s heavyweight division and he wants to be Vera’s next challenger. The Iranian mixed martial artist said, “I only want one fight and that’s Brandon Vera.”
“This is the fight to make,” the Tehran native continued. “None of these heavyweights can last in the cage or ring with me including Brandon. I ask ONE to give me Brandon and I promise to smash him brutally.”
ONE Championship has yet to announce the details about Aliakbari’s promotional debut. It is unlikely that it is going to be a title shot as Vera is set to expected to defend his ONE Heavyweight World Championship belt against Arjan “Singh” Bhullar, 34, of India and Canada.
Aliakbari is not the only new addition to the heavyweight division of ONE Championship who is looking forward to challenging Vera. Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, 30, of São Paulo, Brazil recently joined the martial arts organization and the EVOLVE Fight Team, which are both based in Singapore.
“I envision having the belt wrapped around me and defending it for many years to come,” Aliakbari shared. “After I take the belt, I want to defend it successfully and clear out the division. After doing so, I want to raise the ONE championship flag high and challenge other promotions’ heavyweights to step up and see who the real baddest man on the planet is.”
Including Vera, Cerilli, Aliakbari, Bhullar and Almeida, there are currently nine fighters in ONE Championship’s heavyweight division. The others are Alain “The Panther” Ngalani, 45, of Cameroon and Hong Kong, Alexandre “Bebezão” Machado, 37, of Brazil, Myung Hyun Man (명현만), 35, of South Korea and Anatoly Malykhin, 32, of Russia.
Currently, Aliakbari holds a professional MMA record of 10 wins and 0 loss. Before joining ONE Championship, the Iranian MMA fighter competed in Full Metal Dojo, Real Fight Championship, RIZIN Fighting Federation and Absolute Championship Akhmat.